From Tears to CHEERS!

Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen

“I sunk into a depression only Hamlet would recognize.” –Lola, Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen 

​In order not to be a hypocrite, I feel morally responsible to detail all of my wardrobe tantrums, before I untangle a story about our next bride. I really thought I was saving this lengthy chronicle for a therapist but, here we go…

1992- Upon my demand for a new outfit THAT same day, my mother spent all afternoon sewing me a new dress. When it was finished, she gave it to me to wear. I refused. Mom cried in the closet for an hour. — Yes, you did the math right. I was a mere TWO YEARS OLD.

1995- My mom bought me my first pair of pants so I could play at recess. I proceeded to assume she was attempting to make me a boy and subdue my constant dress demands. I cried all the way to school.

1997- My mother got my brother and I dressed for school. It was his first day in Kindergarten. Upon the realization that his outfit didn’t match mine (for literally the first time EVER), I cried incessantly. — I’m sure she was SOOOOO sad to see me go off to school…

FullSizeRender

 

“Um Hi?! Who are you and why are you stealing all of MY attention???”

Outfit Coordination Debut, Circa: 1993

1998- My mom got tired of sewing ALL of my outfits so she bought me a new wardrobe from GAP kids. My whole class teased me about wearing ONLY GAP and I received the nickname “GAP Girl.” I had mild depression about not being able to wear tacky sparkle tops from Limited Too.

1999- MAJOR milestone: I convinced my dad to take me shoe shopping. He bought me my first pair of NON stark white leather Keds aka Nikes. Stepped in mud that day. CRIED. — Only beneficial takeaway, my dad continued to do my sneaker shopping from this point forward, including now! Thanks for my Christmas Nike’s Dad!!!

2001- Doc Martins became cool. My mom FORCED me to wear them every day. She specifically loved when I wore them with this denim dress she bought, deeming it my “Ralph Lauren Look.” I protested daily, for a year. I am now apologizing for this…. Doc Martin’s have a positive lifetime effect on your calf muscles.

2002- Dallas got its first Abercrombie Kids store. At age 12, I was already 5’8” and nothing in the ENTIRE store fit because I was an “adult” size. (I refuse to acknowledge, pudgy middle schooler, adult sounds better) I debated anorexia for a week, but I decided against it because I couldn’t give up cake, and ice cream… AND CHERRY PIE!!!

2003- Avril Lavigne made skater clothes cool. The meltdown for this came about 3 years after the fact when I realized how ridiculous I looked.

2006- I discovered the clothing GODS aka Anthropologie. Anyone who knows me, knows this store is my Achilles heel. I started worshipping the store…. Mom cried over her bank statement for a week.

2008- Prom Drama. Go back a blog to “A Wish Your Heart Makes” for this explanation.

2009-Present- Everything after High School is still too soon. I will not own up to these travesties just yet— maybe when I turn 30.

I now feel that I have washed my slate clean.

Tears… 

“I wish you could step back from the Ledge my Friend…” –Third Eye Blind

Now I have preached this since day one, but very frequently making a dress YOUR dress requires some customizing. People don’t fit into boxes and no matter how pretty the dress is, sometimes it just needs a little something to make it right! This was the case with our bride, Megan.

Megan had purchased a gorgeous Watters Bridal gown (Style: Claire). She also had bought a belt to accessorize it with (James Clifford Style: 11311). When Megan came in for her first alterations appointment, something still just wasn’t quite right. So, we decided to order some lace and build a custom bodice that was much more “Megan!”

image001

 Watters Bridal Style: Claire

(Original Gown, picture from Designer website: www.waters.com)

Gown and Belt all purchased from Stardust Celebrations. www.StardustCelebrations.com

Customizing is sometimes a very tough process and trying to match visions can be hard. This truth is, I unfortunately am not Mel Gibson and I do NOT know what women want… Hell, WE (women) don’t know what WE want! (All men everywhere, you are welcome for this statement.) As I have dictated earlier, even I have a very hard time visualizing exactly what I am wanting out of a garment.

So, when Megan came in for her second fitting, we made a “mock up” of the bodice. I’m not going to get into the details (mostly because Megan works for the Rangers and Mama really needs suite tickets… hahaha KIDDING, I just really like Megan and we have become friends since), but long story short, there were tears and laughs and a decision to start over with a new game plan. We had a re-do of Megan’s second fitting, where we still weren’t exactly where we wanted to be but, mutually had come to a final decision for the look of the gown.

Megan’s final fitting was flawless! There were tears and I almost panicked before realizing they were tears of JOY! It was 100% more amazing than we all hoped for it to be. The NEW bodice fit Megan like a glove, and it gave the dress that little extra PIZZAZZ!

Take a look for yourself!

MeganBridal-0006

MeganBridal-0016

MeganBridal-0021

 

MeganBridal-0045

 

I am such a sucker for a FABULOUS veil pic!!

MeganBridal-0032

MeganBridal-0049

MeganBridal-0064

MeganBridal-0044

Photo Credit: Ross & Kandice Photography

www.rkphotograph.com

To…CHEERS!      

 “I’ll meet you at the altar” “I’ll be the one in white!” Stephanie Meyer, Breaking Dawn                

We continued working with other brides through the holidays and I always wondered how that big day went! Well, like most things, including the completion of this blog (EEK!), I procrastinated and forgot to get back in touch with Megan after the big day.

Then one day while out celebrating St. Patrick’s on lower Greenville, fate intervened. I ended up at a house party of a friend of a friend’s, brother’s, girlfriend’s house… ok, possible exaggeration. Anyway, as I walked up, who do I see?! None other than Megan! We celebrated her new marriage, I met her now HUBBY, and I got to see pictures of the final product on the big day! It was nice to be able to see a client outside of the store. (It’s much more fun than being a teacher out grocery shopping and having a student catch you buying beer… That may or may not be a true story of a friend.) I was thrilled to get to spend time with Megan and see how pleased she was with her gown! And now I am beyond thrilled to be able to share it with you!

MeganBridal-0052

MeganBridal-0062

I love this picture, because you can see all of the FABULOUS new detailing of the custom built lace illusion. We extended the buttons throughout the custom lace illusion and through the zipper of the original bodice, to give it a fluid transition. 

Megan was absolutely breathtaking at her October 2014 nuptials!!! The gown was perfect, the day was perfect, EVERYTHING was PERFECT!

So, Dear Megan & Keith….

CHEERS!

To Love, Laughter, and Happily Ever After!

 

Adios,

Niña Esclava

#ConfessionsofNiñaEsclava

 

 

Timeless Romance

Time Warp

“When I get home I Shall write a book about this place… If I ever get home.” –Alice, Alice in Wonderland

Out of nowhere, an elevator appears in the middle of the street. I exit the car in confusion; I don’t remember this tunnel emerging from the busy Dallas streets before.  Then from behind me, I hear a man beckon for me, “Miss Calvert.”

Entranced, I look up to see a nice looking man in a suit. “Yes?” I reply.

“We have been awaiting your arrival. Please take the elevator to the lower level,” he stated with an ever so childish grin.

I got in the elevator and hit the button for the lower level, unsure of where this rabbit hole was going to lead me, but too curious to turn back now.  I started to hear the sounds of rain drops. I turned behind me to see a beautiful underground waterfall emerging. Was I in Narnia? Was this some kind of Secret Garden hidden below the busy streets of Dallas?  The doors opened and I was greeted by two smiling faces and the sudden aroma of sweet, savory smells. The ladies lead me into a time capsule of a room. I felt as if I had emerged from the elevator and stepped into a scene of one of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s books – Where nothing is too glam, too glitz and rich in every way possible. I had discovered the hidden gem of Dallas called Dakota’s Steakhouse. (Y’all mind you I have lived in Dallas my whole life, and how I missed this AMAZING place is beyond me?!? – I blame my parents.)

Fast forward to me swooning over the entire place, mainly the elevator, because it made me feel so regal and glamorous. I finally controlled myself and stopped taking selfies literally EVERYWHERE, enough to sit down and enjoy my lunch.  The food was nothing shy of, THE ABOSLUTE BEST FOOD EVER. Y’all, I have lately, out of nowhere, spent my time going bankrupt over fine dining. That being said, I have done my homework on good food in the Dallas area, and let me tell you… I would eat at Dakota’s every single time. The food is just as entrancing as the scenery. I literally ate until I developed a food baby… OK, FINE… Maybe they were food twins, but it was AMAZING! The chef was sweet enough to come and greet us after lunch. Joseph Hoffmaster, the chef, was much younger and much more handsome than I had envisioned. He was very poised and extremely kind, double bonus! As I sat in the room I couldn’t help, but to slowly begin planning my dream rehearsal dinner inside my head, and that’s when I decided- this place was just too good not to share!! (I did seriously consider keeping this my little secret, so y’all are welcome!)

IMG_2055

Yes, I took multiple pictures of my AMAZING food!

 

Dakota’s

“Most of us, I suppose, have a secret country but for most of us it is only an imaginary country.” -C.S. Lewis, Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

Not that I should have to give you more reason to pick Dakota’s for an upcoming event, but Janay, Dakota’s Sales and Marketing Manager, is the bomb.com. She is the sweetest and is your contact for WHEN you choose to book an event at Dakota’s. Janay is extremely knowledgeable and helpful with a very soothing demeanor. The perfect combination for someone you want handling your events! So what does Dakota’s have to offer you, my darling bride?! Here’s a list of the events that Dakota’s currently offers for you:

 

Chefs Table:

“We have our private Chef’s table that accommodates up to 12 guests. This can be reserved for lunch or dinner.”

Dakotas_-Marple_MARP0023

Waterfall Patio

“Our renowned subterranean patio complete with waterfall, retractable roof, fire pit and private bar. The patio can accommodate up to 60 guests for a seated event or 120 for a cocktail reception.” **MY FAVORITE OPTION**

Dakotas_-Marple_MARP0027

Wine Room

“Our semi-private Wine Room can accommodate up to 45 guests seated and 60 for a cocktail reception. This room also offers A/V capabilities.”

Dakotas_-Marple_MARP0016

Restaurant Buyout

“The entire restaurant is available exclusively for a buyout and seats approximately 125 guests inside with additional seating on the patio for 60 guests. We can host a reception style event for 200 guests.”

Dakotas_8154Y’all did I even mention the LIVE piano playing they have?! — *cue sigh*

Off-Site Catering

“From 30 to 300, we can accommodate your off-site event needs.”

For more information on Dakota’s visit their NEW website: www.dakotasrestaurant.com

Basically, Dakota’s is your go-to for a dinner rehearsal or a small intimate, but TOTALLY FAB reception.

 

Secret Gardens and Pretty Princess’ 

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”  -Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

So, what makes me really trust in Dakota’s? We recently altered a gown for one of our brides, Melissa, and she had her dinner rehearsal done at Dakota’s. I have never seen someone more pleased with the service, food and quality of a venue. Melissa and her now Mother-in-Law Carolyn were ecstatic to introduce me to Janay and tell me all about Dakota’s!  They were right!! (side note: Carolyn has worked at Lulu’s Bridal Boutique for over 10 years now, which made this bride and her experience with us extra special!)

Melissa had her dinner rehearsal at Dakota’s Friday and then was married Saturday. We were so happy to be able to help her for her BIG DAY! The dress she picked from Stardust Celebrations was beautiful and timeless. Just take a look for yourself!

MJwed_0181_1

MJwed_0724_1

MJwed_0324_1

MJwed_0813_1

MJwed_0852_1

MJwed_0872_1

Photo Credit: Harry Harjabrata, www.harryphoto.com

 I just loved getting to work with Melissa and, through her, also get to meet Janay with Dakota’s! Whether it is with a bride or visiting a new place, I always love getting to escape the everyday and live in the world of enchantment.

Glitz, Glamour, Gatsby

Pretty, Pretty Princess

“When I first met her I knew in a moment I would have to spend the next few days re-arranging my mind so there’d be room for her to stay.”

 

So, y’all are going to have to live without my childhood story for this one. I have a perfectly, PERFECT story, of all the times I forced my little brother to play Pretty, Pretty Princess with me… against his will. I literally even have PHOTO PROOF (He doesn’t looked forced into it at all, might I add.) Unfortunately, mom said if I posted the pic, I was not welcome to Christmas next year…. I’m really hoping Santa makes a trip to Louis next year, soooo y’all are S.O.L. (I see you breathing a sigh of relief, don’t EVEN.)

ANYWAYS…

I am so excited to share these next two GORGEOUS brides with you!! Both girls were absolutely breathtaking. Each took their own spin on the classic “Gatsby” theme. I could not be more in love with how the two looks turned out and I know y’all will LOVE them!!! So with out further ado, our brides…

 

Caplet Chic

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough!” –Mae West

 

Jessica had me at, “can you help me style my look.” This is because A) As Kate Spade once said, I live in a world where “dress up starts at the age of 5 and never truly ends,” and B) It’s surreal to me still, that women respect and value my fashion input for the BIGGEST day of their life. So dress up we played! Just like princesses. And let me tell you, Jessica did not disappoint. Not only did she have a FABULOUS dress from Lulu’s Bridal Boutique, she found some of my all-time favorite accessories ever! Mainly, her show stopping sheer, crystal caplet she ordered from BHLDN… Y’all I swear I didn’t even know it was from my favorite store until after I fell in love with it. This caplet was Gatsby with a capital “G.”

 

So, set with the absolute perfect assortment of “bride meets Gatsby,” we altered the dress to fit her just right so that everything else would have the perfect stage to shine. Jessica was 100% GORG and perfect for her special evening of celebration. I forced her to only come in on days I knew I would be here, with enough time to play dress up. I had so much fun getting to “play” with Jessica and I wish her and her hubby all the BEST!

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Stunning, just STUNNING!

Dress: Sottero Midgley Style: Simone, from Stardust Celebrations, www.StardustCelebrations.com

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

We were able to go in an add some sleeves to the gown so that with or without the caplet it still kept that same Gatsby vibe!

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

19-03-00-0037

The cake made the cut because its just too perfect not to share!

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

18-59-32-0010

This board also made the cut because it is just so GATSBY!

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Photos by: www.CoburnPhoto.com

Photo Credit: Kyle Coburn/Coburn Photography www.CoburnPhotography.com

 

Sizzlin’ Shoes

“One shoe can change your life.” –Cinderella

 

You know that little saying, “one shoe can change your life,” well for our next bride that was no lie. Celia found the absolute PERFECT shoes for her wedding day. And they were LIFE CHANGING. Minor flaw with this plan, she bought the dress prior to knowing what shoes she was going to wear – TOTES normal. Well when we received the dress it wasn’t exactly allowing enough length for the height of these shoes. Ditching the shoes was NOT an option. So what does a girl do?! That’s when you call us! Ruth was able to go in an add handkerchief pieces to mimic the dress and allow for more length to the gown. Celia was Thrilled—and so were we!

 

Celia was a radiant vision of glamour and Gatsby in her bridal portraits. She looked BEAUTIFUL. I got the pleasure of seeing her last week. Let me tell y’all I have never seen someone so in love and just all around full of so much joy – it was contagious!!

10801715_1001959193166369_5722319974803830782_n

10922847_1001959189833036_7924652108955384627_n

10991118_1001959186499703_8290952354873043465_n

10991324_1001959183166370_7759373010863962298_n

Photo Credit: Memories by CJP

for more FABULOUS Pictures of Celia check out the full portrait session at: http://www.memoriesbycjp.com/celia0118

Dress: Alvina Valenta Style 9350

Belt: James Clifford

Veil: Toni Federici

Gown and all accessories were purchased at Stardust Celebrations, www.StardustCelebrations.com

 

Happy girls are the Prettiest Girls

“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” – Audrey Hepburn

 

Can y’all believe I spend all day everrryyyday helping people feel like princesses?!?! Me either, but I couldn’t be more happy than to spend my life playing Pretty, Pretty Princess with all your gorgeous faces! Is your wedding coming up?! Call us today and set up your first “dress up.” We are dying to work with YOU! But remember it’s BYOT (Bring your own Tiara!).

 

Adios,

 

Niña Esclava

#ConfessionsofNiñaEsclava

Glory of LOVE

  Wind Beneath My Wings

“So it’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be really hard. And we’re going to have to work at this every day, but I want to do that because I want you. I want you, forever, you and me, every day.” – The Notebook

mom and grandma_Page_2

My mom (aka the reason all of this exists- literally… she birthed me) will be officially married 30 years this Monday. HOLY COW. I don’t know which one of my parents I am more impressed with. I’m not sure who managed to “put up” with who in order for all of this to happen, but against all odds, it did. Like my dad posted on Facebook, “The devil’s been chasing us for 30 years now and still hasn’t caught up yet!”

80's3 - Copy80's4 - Copy

Classic 80’s ski wear.

Throughout my life, both of my parents have had their own business endeavors. My dad and grandfather owned a Collision Repair Center for over 25 years, and, my mom of course, started this whole crazy bridal business. No matter whose “turn” it has been, the other was always right there helping in anyway possible. (My dad can actually press a wedding gown better than our whole staff put together. The BEST part about this is watching my FURTHEST THING from girly father press a wedding gown, and no matter what he says, HE LOVES IT). The downfall to this is that if we ever find someone who give us a reality show, my dad would undoubtedly be the “Si” and hit of the show— sooooooo not fair.

80's5 - Copy 80's6 - Copy 80's7 - Copy 80's8 - Copy 80's9 - Copy

Ohh the early days…

In all seriousness, my parents have been the best role models for being entrepreneur’s and what for exemplifying what true love really looks like. This is not because everything was all lovey -dovey and perfect 24/7. It is because even when they drove each other crazy, when life threw some heavy unexpected hits or my brothers were a complete pain in the ass (NOT me, I was perfect), they held on. When the easiest option is out, they choose each other every time. They choose to fight through it and come out stronger than before.  Out of everything I have learned and taken from my parents- and they have taught me many things- this perfect example of what love should be is by far the BEST gift they ever gave me. I had them both together my entire childhood, side by side. They have been the wind beneath each other’s wings for 30 years… 30 YEARS! (My dad is totally going to give me hell for this “sentimental post” later, WHATEVUUURRRR).

80's10 - Copy 80's12 - Copy 80's11 - Copy 80's14 - Copy

That one time my parents had matching braces, hehehe

80's15 - Copy

 

Tease it to Jesus

“The higher the hair, the closer to God.” – Every Southern Woman Ever

Well y’all my parents got married in the “Dallas” era — big hair, big dresses and even bigger personalities. As I have told y’all before, it wasn’t too long after this that my mom turned her sewing hobby into a career. In honor of their 30thanniversary and it being VALENTINE’S DAY, I decided to make an ’80s montage of my mom’s early work. It has literally taken me days to compose this blog, solely because I cannot stop laughing every time I pull the pictures out.

80's34

 This, my friends is my mom with one of her first bridal alteration clients. She also looks like a boy. I really fail to understand how all of you 80’s kids went from Madonna…. to this?!?!

80’s Montage, Lets start with the dresses she custom made from SCRATCH!

  80's30 80's29 80's27 80's26 80's25 80's24 - Copy 80's23 80s22 80's21 80's18

80's20 - Copy

Blush and Bashful.

80's19 - Copy

80's17 80's16 - Copy

80's36

Ursuline Graduation, Class of 1988

80's31 80's32

On the left is one of our lifetime friends and practically my 3rd grandma, LaVerne. On the right is my mom rocking her own ensemble.

 

Hello, is it me you’re looking for?

“You’ve got to give a little, take a little, and let your poor heart break a little. That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.” – “Glory of Love”, Bette Midler

(Y’all should know by now, that I seriously love, and I mean LOVE, Bette Midler)

Well y’all, I haven’t learned a lot in this short life of mine, but I have two valuable lessons for you. 1) The 80’s are NEVER. COMING. BACK. EVER. And 2) Love truly DOES conquer all. No one said this life was going to be easy but it’s easier when you’re doing it with your best friend. My favorite part about my job is getting to watch people find their soul mate every day. If you haven’t found yours, well he’s out their sister! And trust me… He’ll be worth it!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!! & Happy 30th Wedding Anniversary to my Parents!!!

 

Ps.  Special shout out to MY Best Friend and Love, Justin. (He is going to totally kill me for adding him to the blog. I maybe promised I wouldn’t—but hey it’s Valentine’s Day. I should get a free pass.) So Justin, I LOVE YOU!!…

 

Now if y’all could all do me a favor and convince him I. NEED. A. MINI TEACUP PIGGY. that would be totes awesome.

pig2

 

Adios,

Niña Esclava

#ConfessionsofNiñaEsclava

 

Prev Next
FOLLOW ALONG